Is it raining or not?

Is it raining

“Is it raining?” is a question I ask myself quite a lot when it’s school pickup time. You see, our primary school has this rule that when it’s raining, parents have to come to their children’s classrooms to collect them. Now, I have Feelings about this rule (the same way I have Feelings about how some other parents drive in the school carpark, but that is another story). My most pressing Feeling is one of confusion. Because no matter what kind of weather I can see through the windscreen of my car, I never know whether it’s raining or not, according to the school.

The usual procedure for school pickup is to show up, park the car, hop out, sneak glances at the other mums and desperately try to look cool and not at all lonely hanging out by myself on the footpath, and wait until the kids come skipping merrily from their classrooms. But on days when it’s raining, the procedure changes. Show up, park the car, and peer at the raindrops on the windscreen. Is it raining, or is it just drizzling? If it’s raining when I park but then it stops raining and then it starts raining again just as the last bell rings, is it raining? If it’s not raining when I park but then it starts lightly sprinkling, does that mean it’s raining? And “torrential downpour” surely means it’s raining, right? Yes, I am a grownup. Yes, I know how mad this sounds.

Because inevitably, when I leave the house for school pickup, it’s not raining. So I don’t have an umbrella in the car, and the baby is still wearing her yoghurt-stained shirt from lunch and no socks or shoes, and I’m wearing ratty “housework” clothes. I plan to sit in the car until the last possible minute and then leap out when the bell rings, frantically wave my son over to the car, and leap back in before any other parents see me. Of course, this never actually works as I think it will. I get to school, park the car, and then the heavens open. It’s raining. And I have to take my messy self and underdressed baby and slink into the school to collect my son. I have to people. And as an introvert, the thing I loathe most is when I have to people.

Or the alternative scenario happens. It’s raining, and I’m prepared with an umbrella and a shawl over my hair and I’m dressed normally for once and I’ve even got the baby in her little rain jacket and gumboots. We get to school, park, and I’m making sure the umbrella is covering both me and the baby as we trudge toward the school, dodging puddles and trying not to get blown away. And then the bell rings and the kids stream out of the school, even though it’s clearly raining. Isn’t it?

Then yesterday I turned up to a light sprinkle and watched other kids running across the lawn to meet their parents, so I figured “light sprinkle” meant it wasn’t raining, and waited for my own kid to come running across the school lawn to meet me. No dice. His teacher interpreted “light sprinkle” as “raining”, and was alone in doing so. My kid’s class was the only class who had parents collecting them at the classroom. Seriously, this “Is it raining?” thing is doing my head in.

Last week my children’s grandma was on school pickup duty. It was raining, but she did what I’ve never had the courage to do. She actually went into the school office and asked the receptionist, “Now, is it raining?” The receptionist looked at her strangely. “Yes…” she replied hesitantly, looking over Grandma’s shoulder through the school’s front doors, where the rain was very clearly bucketing down. “Oh, good,” Grandma said. “Because I never know whether to go to the classroom or not.” My thoughts exactly.

So next time you are at school pickup in the rain, spare a thought for me. Because I don’t truly know whether it’s raining or not unless my kid’s school tells me. However, I can tell when it’s raining all by myself when I see little trickles of water running off my roof and into the front porch. I wonder where that’s going? It better not be making its way into my drains (that may or may not already be clogged) because I know for a fact that my insurance company will be a nightmare when it comes to asking for the compensation that I deserve. Luckily, my friend told me about this public adjuster Doylestown who can help deal with the company in case I ever find myself in this situation.

But unless I can firmly see it for myself, I never know for sure when it’s raining! So, if you see me struggling to determine the answer, I would be grateful if you could give me a heads up. Thank you in advance!

Katherine Granich

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